I am a strong believer that dreams mean something.
There are dreams that symbolize our emotions and situations. That put pictures to the inner goings-on of our everyday lives.
Most of us would agree that our subconscious is just waking up in the form of dreams when our conscious mind falls asleep.
I believe that in that state of mind, that place where our brains attempt to take a rest from the battle of each day, we are also able to glimpse spiritual truths and analogies that would escape our notice when other distractions are demanding our concentration and attention.
That’s why flashes of inspiration are born in the middle of the night. Why our best ideas and deepest thoughts sometimes wake us up at two in the morning.
Our subconscious mind reaches toward our heart’s outstretched hand…
I’ve had many of these dreams that seem to preempt or follow something God is going to do or has done in my life. Sometimes as a forewarning or as a confirmation.
Last night’s dream was no exception…
A man with a familiar face was the main character in this dream state drama. He was well-known in the community. A powerful personality who, when he entered a room, people noticed. He was a husband and father.
I was an outsider looking in through the windows of his house and seeing what appeared to be a normal family setting. Like any other home I’d ever seen or experienced.
But as I watched the daily interactions of this household, it was obvious that something was amiss. With the exception of the main character, each family member moved slowly, timidly. Their voices were faint. Their personalities seemed muffled and subservient.
I began to see that this father was not good man. That he had a spell over these individuals that was turning them into nothing more than weary survivors and drones following his commands.
A knowing dread filled my heart as the telltale signs of dysfunction and displaced power morphed into blatant symptoms of abuse.
My eyes and ears suddenly went into high alert, my racing pulse exposing my fight or flight mentality.
I had to do something, not sure what.
I climbed through a window left ajar, into an unknown place and situation that I knew would not be safe. It took only seconds to hear the first sound of trouble.
I ran to the aid of a whimpering child who was lying in the corner bleeding, cowering and afraid. Through tears, her only words were, “I asked him to stop and he wouldn’t.”
Attending to her wounds, desperate for a place to take and hide her, I was interrupted by a scream.
In the next room was a mother standing over her teenage son who had been beaten unconscious. He lay there, limp and seemingly lifeless, another victim of a mad man’s rage.
The blood that dripped from her grief-stricken, horrified mouth escaped a bruised and gaping wound that no doubt had come from an angry backhand.
I gathered them all in one room and knew he had to be stopped. The thing that none of them had ever been able to do. Their very lives depended on it.
I had to fight.
On every other occasion, at this point in a dream about such a nemesis, I would run for my life, hiding from his ugly words, his painful punches, his threatening gun or waving switchblade coming toward me. Flight would have been my only response.
Last night was different.
This time I approached him head on, this man who pretended not to be the vile creature that he was. He tried to intimidate me with his mocking words, his muscles flexed and ready to throw a debilitating punch.
I didn’t care.
With courage I’d never before possessed in this dream situation, I grabbed his face, looked straight into those ugly yellow eyes and called him out as the viper that he was. Those eyes flashed, his sharp tongue spit curses at me, but he was powerless as long as I looked him in the eye.
I denounced every hateful thing that he’d done within that household. I reminded him of the pain he had caused, the paralysis he had inflicted and the toxic environment his putrid presence had created.
I could feel the hate bleeding out of tears in my eyes as I looked at him and recounted every hateful thing this monster had done to his victims.
The authorities were called and he was dragged off, kicking and screaming, to be put away behind the bars where he belonged.
He would snarl and I would still see his face trying to make it’s way out of that cage. But he had lost the fight.
And I was no longer going to have to run from this man named FEAR.
Because at his core, FEAR was a coward and I had found that weak place in his yellow eyes. That place where the tables were turned and the power was no longer his. He was only so loud and abusive because he knew he wasn’t invincible.
I woke up with such clarity, it brought me to my knees.
This was the visual representation that my soul has been experiencing nearly all my life. Half a century.
Fear and its familiar face has always lived in the house of my heart, tormenting, abusing, torturing me.
In every other dream I had fled and hid.
But after a year of facing the “man” eye to eye, my dreams have finally shifted, my character has found courage and my heart is finally at peace.
I am no longer afraid of fear itself.
The dream was in vivid color, and the yellow of the eyes of the man I called a snake, depicted the cowardice of the fear that comes from the original serpent in the very first garden of a world now crippled by this predator.
Each family member represented the parts of me that up to recently had felt trapped and powerless against his presence.
Handing him over to the authorities was me giving the monster over to God, to deal with him in ways that I could’t on my own. Trusting that God has the keys to the cell that will keep him from ruining my life.
– Does fear have a grip on you?
– Have you been beaten up and left bleeding by his strangle hold on your life?
– Do his empty threats ring in your ears and drown out your own voice?
We are called to be warriors, not frightened victims.
Fear doesn’t have to be in charge. You can fight back. You can look him in the eye and deem him powerless.
You can give him over to the Authorities (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and let them give him his just reward.
Don’t give him another day of freedom over you or your future.
You are stronger than you know and loved by Someone who has all the strength, wisdom and authority in the world to deal with fear and put it back into solitary confinement.
Psalm 27:1 – The LORD is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Psalm 118:6 – The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man (or “the man” fear) do to me?
2 Timothy 1:7 – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Psalm 23:4 – Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lordyour God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.